Sennheiser has announced a pair of open-backed headphones, designed for use with Hi-Fi equipment in quiet environments. The HD238s are the first in the 200-series not to block external noise, which the company says gives improved audio quality.

They come in a on-ear design, with flat earpads, and are apparently optimised for iPod, iPhone, MP3 and CD players, meaning that they're equipped with a 3.5mm headphone jack. Neodymium drivers and low-resonance diaphragms add clarity, claims Sennheiser.

A single-sided cable means that no-one can creep up behind you and strangle you with the headphone cord, well, not as easily anyway. The cans have a frequency response of 16Hz - 23kHz, and an impedance of 32 ohms.

Given the lack of any form of either passive or active noise cancellation, the company says that the HD238 is "100% NOT recommended for use where it is noisy", but if you're fine with that, then they're available now and cost £50.